Somebody knew shooting suspect posed a threatMay 31, 2012 @ 8:55 am (Updated: 8:58 am - 5/31/12 )
Yesterday, here in Seattle, we saw five people killed by a man angry he'd been kicked out of a coffee shop, and it turns out someone had an idea something like this could happen. (AP)
Yesterday, here in Seattle, we saw five people killed by a man angry he'd been kicked out of a coffee shop.
It was all caught on the security camera -- thin white guy with a beard, walks into the shop, shoots four people dead, steps over the bodies, goes downtown, shoots a 52-year-old mom to get her SUV, finally jumps out in a residential neighborhood, is spotted by police, kneels in front of someone's flower garden and shoots himself.
This morning in the Seattle Times, there's quote from the shooter's younger brother:
"It's no surprise to me this happened. We could see it coming."
Now usually when reporters talk to the neighbors after something like this, they say, "We would never have suspected! He was so quiet!"
But in this case the family said he had a history of mental-health problems that he refused to deal with, and they knew it.
Now in an ideal world, guys like this -- would be on a "NO BUY" list which every gun shop would have to check.
But absent that, there is one one other way to intercept such people.
If a family member is mentally ill, or on drugs, or in a gang -- the only practical prevention is for OTHER family members to take responsibility. Get help. At least give the guy's picture to the gun shops.
Because if you can imagine yourself ever telling the newspaper, "Yeah I knew my brother would do this some day" -- then you have to ask yourself "What am I doing to make sure that day never comes?"
I know it seems like an unfair burden, until you look at those five victims whose only mistake was where they happened to be sitting that day.
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